11.12.05

Trains

Just finished reading Parallel lines by Ian Marchant, which I really enjoyed. It was recommended on Dave Shelton's blog, so someone must read them! It's about trains (hurrah!), but it also has a Brighton connection, a Lancashire connection, diatribes about drugs, access fathers and hippy yurts (two reasons why he doesn't do sweat lodges: one, he didn't want to look at hippies' penises, and two he didn't wany foxy hippy chicks looking at his!) and a cover by Jonny Hannah, who is currently exhibiting in Judy Stevens' Open House at 6 Clifton Street. I'm not a great book reader, doing most of my reading on trains, strangely enough! I recently wimped out of a girly book group cos I couldn't manage a book a month. The last proper book I read all the way through was the autobiography of Wreckless Eric, another local lad. This library book took ages to read, despite being so entertaining - it's one of those post-modern books, in which the author talks about himself a lot, and I do wish he'd cut down on the smoking. Nevertheless, it makes me want to go on some great small train journeys of my own (rail bashing). I have happy memories of trainspotting at Crewe and Doncaster in the 1950s (with the odd excursion to Chester to cop some Westerns), but do find the heritage railways like the Bluebell up the road and the East Lancs in my home town of Bury a bit too clean. And how did he miss the gorgeous Bayer-Garratt at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry? I'm no great fan of narrow gauge railways either, but I did visit the Talyllyn and Ffestiniog railways when I were a lad at Butlin's Pwllheli . There was a miniature railway there too (and the real full-size Princess Elizabeth, as a static display to climb all over!), and the book brought back fond memories of little tiny train journeys round a corner of Stoke Park, Guildford and around Blackpool Pleasure Beach (where there's another Princess Elizabeth I seem to remember) and my Tri-ang 00 (or is that OO) train set (yes, I had Princess Elizabeth too). Happy days.
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